High-Fi for Fort William - Free WiFi is rolled out across 14 Highland towns
2nd June 2018
FORT WILLIAM now has access to free WiFi in and around the centre of the town thanks to a project led by the Highland Council and funded by the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal.
The free WiFi, called "High-Fi", is aimed at stimulating economic growth and will increase digital inclusion across the Highlands. Easy access to digital connectivity is seen as essential if the Highland region is to be innovative and keep its competitive place in the tourism market.
Allied to this, WiFi also offers the opportunity to gather data to support tourism and the creation of a wireless infrastructure in a town centre allows smart traffic management technology to be utilised.
The first phase was a Pilot in part of Inverness City Centre which was later rolled out to the wider city in early 2017 as Phase 2. The 3rd Phase will see the roll-out of the free WiFi to 14 towns in Highland.
Fort William is among the first of the 14 towns to get free wifi. Additional towns to receive High-Fi during phase 3 of the project include Alness, Aviemore (now live), Dingwall, Dornoch, Drumnadrochit, Fort Augustus, Invergordon, Nairn, Portree, Tain, Thurso, Ullapool and Wick.
The rollout for all 14 towns will be completed by the late spring of 2018, and involves local communities, groups and businesses.
Chair of the Lochaber Committee, Councillor Andrew Baxter said:
"This project is fantastic news for Fort William and I am sure it will be welcomed by everyone who lives here, as well as our many thousands of visitors.
"Digital connectivity is essential these days for daily life and the free access to WiFi will enable visitors and locals to make the most of local businesses by checking what's on, where to visit in Lochaber, opening hours, accommodation and prices, as well as finding local job opportunities and keeping in touch with family and friends.
“High-Fi will be great for posting photos of the area on social media and helping to promote the town, and all this region offers, to the wider world. I hope to see lots of #High-Fi."
Highland Council's contractor Rapier is also supplying free wifi for the Mountain Bike World Cup in Fort William this weekend.
The City-Region Deal sets out the areas where the Scottish Government will commit investment of up to £135m and the UK Government will commit investment of up to £53.1m, which, together with £127m of further investment by the Council and partners, will deliver a step change in digital connectivity, digital healthcare, skills, innovation and infrastructure.
UK Government minister Lord Duncan said:
“Digital connectivity isn't a luxury, it’s a necessity. The roll out of free Wi-Fi will help locals and businesses as well as making it easier for tourists visiting picturesque locations such as Nairn to share their experiences with people back home. I am pleased that the UK Government was able to directly support this essential project as part of the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal funding."
Highland Council Members have agreed to support the efforts of Caithness Transport Forum and Wick JOG Airport Consultative Committee to improve flight connectivity at Wick John O' Groats airport. Members were informed at Highland Council's headquarters that both organisations are pressing to have investigation work carried out on the potential to have a Public Service Obligation (PSO) created on one of the flight routes.
Improvements to the management of facility lets in Highland Council properties (including schools) has been welcomed by Members of The Highland Council's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee. Committee Chair, Cllr Allan Henderson said: "I would like to thank staff for the large amount of work has been undertaken since October 2016 when the Council's Redesign Board recommended the transfer of management of school lets to the Development and Infrastructure Service.
Planning guidance approved by the Highland Council today (Thursday 16 August 2018) has updated the financial contributions that new developments will be required to make towards facilities including schools, roads and the provision of affordable housing. Members of the Highland Council's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee today agreed to adopt the Developer Contributions Supplementary Guidance (DCSG) after a public consultation was undertaken in early 2018.
A 5 year Parking Policy and Guidance for The Highland Council area has been approved by Members of the Council's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee. The policy, which is required by the local authority to underpin its enforcement of decriminalised parking will cover the period from 2018 - 2023.
Highland Council Members have agreed to support the efforts of Caithness Transport Forum and Wick JOG Airport Consultative Committee to improve flight connectivity at Wick John O' Groats airport. Members were informed at Highland Council's headquarters today (16 August 2018) that both organisations are pressing to have investigation work carried out on the potential to have a Public Service Obligation (PSO) created on one of the flight routes.
The Council's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee has today agreed the Longman Landfill site in Inverness as the preferred location to construct a new centralised waste management facility (Materials Recovery Facility) to recover recyclates and produce Refuse Derived Fuel, as the Council's preferred interim arrangements for meeting the requirements of the ban on landfilling which commences in January 2021. This facility will process all of the Highland’s 83,000 tonnes of residual (non-recyclable) waste from 2021 onwards.
The Winter Service Policy for The Highland Council this coming winter 2018/19 has been approved by Members of the Council's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee. The Council's policy relates to clearing and gritting of Highland Council adopted roads, cycle ways, footways and footpaths.
On Thursday 16th August 2018 councillors on the Environment, Development and Infrastructure committee will discuss the update from Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership which is reproduced below. 3.
The Environment, Development and Infrastructure committee of Highland Council will meet on Thursday 16th August 2018. Item 23 on the agenda is "Parking Services".
The Highland Council is delighted to be working with the University of Dundee and the University of the Highlands and Islands to support Highland-based people who are interested in a career move to gain both their PGDE and complete their induction year within 18 months. Following an earlier event in June, Highland Council and the University of Dundee and University of the Highlands and Islands are hosting a second information evening on Tuesday 14 August 2018 from 5:30pm - 7pm at the University of Highlands and Islands, Inverness College, Inverness Campus IV2 5NA.
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